Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Racing For Fun (Or How Not To Worry About Your Time In A Race) at The Snohomish Women's Run Half Marathon

Isn't it amazing how you can have a really great long run one day, where you feel like you could run forever, and the next week's long run all you want to do is stop running and die (with some major food eating somewhere between the stopping and dying).  Yep, was my experience recently.

I did the Snohomish Women's Run half marathon on May 7th and had a superb time!  Well, not a superb finish time.  This run wasn't about finishing as fast as I could.  This was a supported training run for me and I was supposed to run an extra 3 miles on either end of the race.  I didn't.  Why?  I was having too much fun visiting with all my running friends!  This was like a mini Skirt Sports Ambassador meet up with all the Skirt Sisters in attendance.  My friend, Jen, was also there volunteering.  So I spent the time before the race chatting and the time after the race chatting and enjoyed every minute.  Yep, I "raced" for fun and not for time!  I talked, took selfies and skipped and sang merrily.  Okay, not those last two things but I have seen people skipping in marathons as a way to change up the muscle use. Come to think of it, I've heard people singing merrily, also.  And laughing. And muttering.  And cursing. And crying. The crying can be for many reasons, the cursing not so much. You hear it all!  

Happy to be here!

Skirt Sister, Kriss!

Skirt Sister, Kim!

Skirt Sister Kaeili and I with matching skirts and shoes!

Throw back photo from North Olympic Discovery Marathon with Skirt Sister Marie because, somehow, even though she was at the race and we chatted, I missed getting a photo with her!  She was busy pacing.  She's an awesome pacer!

I was supposed to run this with my friend Kristy but she had an injury and was volunteering instead. I now had two choices.  I could run it alone or I could run it with a Skirt Sister and enjoy the miles with company.  Looking back, had I run it alone, I think I could have had a really good finish time as I felt super energetic and strong the entire time I was running and finished feeling like I easily could have run another half.  That said, I'm glad I chose the "fun" option and ran with Kriss.

I had paid a little extra for the VIP treatment.  This meant I had onsite parking, a race tee, and access to the VIP tent with the larger restrooms.  I was going to pay for parking anyway and the extra stuff wasn't all that much more so, why not?  It was nice to have the better bathrooms!  I never did get around to enjoying the extra treats in the tent and by the time I got my tee my size was all gone.  I was stuck with a very tight small.  My daughter likes it! I was bummed because it was really cute but my daughter looks good in it.

The weather was perfectly wonderful!  Partly cloudy which also meant partly sunny but not too hot.  Really, it was perfect.  I usually overheat pretty easily but my temperature felt very comfortable the entire time.  Happy runner girl!
We took off and had a fun little group for the first mile.  Yes, we were "those runners" taking selfies while running.  Hey, none of us were aiming for fast so why not have fun!  We also enjoyed the company of Sparkle Jen and Julie, fellow half fanatics/marathon maniacs.  It's a big happy club out there!

Eventually, our little selfie group naturally split up and we fell into our own paces.  Kriss and I continued on together and after what felt like too long (ha) we finally reached the turnaround for the half where we saw Skirt Sister and my running partner extraordinaire, Kristy.  Since there was no one else running right behind us we took a moment for another selfie.  Call me the selfie queen at this race!  I was having fun and my photos are proof! And volunteering deserves some "I was here" recognition!  She was out there by herself making sure no one wound up missing the turnaround and running a full marathon by mistake.  Thanks Kristy!  Fyi, I love that we caught your lone chair in the background.  Did you haul that out there yourself? Good idea!

The rest of the race was uneventful.  We made our way through the remaining miles, exchanged lots of "great jobs" and "doing great" accolades and finally made our way back to the park (it was very green and pretty by the river) and eventually found the finish line.  Photos were free, which I love, and even better, they turned out good!

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After we crossed the finish line we got a few refreshments, took a couple more selfies and I found my friend Jen, waiting patiently at her volunteer post, until I crossed the finish line.

I had to get a photo of everything I was able to stuff in the back pockets of my Super Girl Tank.  This held my water bottle, my shrug and some beans ... all very comfortably.

It's Jen! 

I finished up the days event with Lunch at Red Robin with Jen.  Seeing as I'd just torched some calories and planned on torching 11 miles more the next day (I figured since I didn't get those extra miles in, I'd run a second long'sh run the following day to make up for it) I ordered the fish and chips.  A burger sounded awesome but I planned on grilling burgers with the family later that night. Wouldn't you know it though, while I was eating fish my family was at home grilling burgers.  Stinkers!

I was tired by the time I got home but I think that was due to the early hour wake up call rather than the running.  I went to bed at a decent time and the next morning headed out for my 11 miles, which also felt really good!  I finished that run with a lot more confidence about my upcoming marathon, The North Olympic Discovery Marathon in Port Angeles.  2 strong runs in a row was encouraging.  The following weekend I did 16 miles which also felt pretty good.  And then the dreaded 18.5 miler slammed me into the dreaded wall.  Stupid wall.  But it's okay.  I am in taper now, yes, without ever achieving the 20 or 22 mile long runs but I'm squeezing this particular marathon into my schedule. My only goal is to go out and have fun (liar, liar pants on fire ... I really would like to beat my last two finish times on this course when the heat has baked me.  It's bound to be cool this time, right?  3rd time is a charm?) but mostly, if I finish with a smile on my face I'll be satisfied. Until the next race, that is.

As a Skirt Sports Ambassador I receive compensation in the form of clothing for promoting their stuff ... however, this blog post is all my own and my love of their stuff is 100% real and true!  It really is an awesome company with awesome clothing!